THREE MINUTE READ
Sleeping plays a huge role in your overall health, but did you know its also an important step in your beauty and skincare routine?
Your blood flow increases, your collagen is rebuilt, and your body goes into full-on tissue repair mode. It sounds like the ultimate skincare dream and it happens nightly.
As your skin spends 1/3 of its life on your pillow, as it should, it's important you're giving it the best treatment.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND IT
While your body may be "sleeping", your brain is doing anything but - restoring cells, processing information, and improving your overall health.
Offers the body a chance to recover from wear and tear of daily life. Many researchers have suggested the restorative effects of sleeping. This doesn’t just mean that the body rests during sleep—rather, the cells busily regenerate themselves and the body temperature, heart rate, and breathing drop in order to conserve energy.
Facilitates learning & memory. Not only do you need rest to sustain the attention and concentration necessary to learn new tasks, but according to Harvard’s Division of Sleep Medicine, sleep is a time for the brain to consolidate memories, which makes learning new things easier. People who sleep after learning how to play a video game generally perform much better in the game later than those who stay awake. Even more intriguingly, a recent study in Natural Neuroscience showed that people can even learn completely new behaviors (in this case, to associate unpleasant and pleasant odors with certain sounds) while they are completely asleep.
Plays a role in immune function. Your body produces special proteins called cytokines, which help your immune system fight off infection. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more of these proteins are produced during sleep when you are sick, which is one of the reasons you may feel so tired when you have the flu. Rest gives the body the time it needs to produce these infection-fighting proteins and to restore itself to wellness.
Reviewed by Snigdha Pusalavidyasagar, M.D.Sleep Medicine (2007)
THE BEAUTY BENEFITS
Every night your body is given the opportunity to repair damage that may have occurred during the day such as UV damage, pollution, or a badly popped pimple. As recommended, 7 to 8 hours of sleep is necessary to take advantage of all these benefits.
While your body regulates it's hormones overnight, the decrease in cortisol allows your skin to rebound from the negative effects of a stressful day. Cortisol can destroy healthy gut bacteria that leads to inflammation throughout the body, including your skin. Cortisol also increases the release of insulin which can cause your body to overproduce oil and block pores.
Balances Skin pH Level
Lack of sleep can cause your skins pH levels to become unbalanced which leads to dryness, acne and premature aging.
Brighter and De-puffed Eyes
As a life-long owner of a not-so coveted pair of bags under my own eyes - I can personally attest to this - more sleep = less eye bags.
“Puffy eyes are one of the first things we see when we don’t sleep,” says Doris Day, MD, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at New York University Langone Medical Center
Hair Grows Longer and Stronger
Your hair follicles' access to proper nutrients, vitamins, and minerals is necessary for healthy hair growth. Your hair follicles access is increased nightly as your body maintains proper blood flow throughout. Lack of sleep will lead to lack of blood flow in the scalp which will ultimately lead to weakened and slow growing hair.
Products Work Better
Similar to the blood flow increase in your scalp, as you sleep, blood flow increases in your facial skin allowing any tissue repairing ingredients in your skincare to work more consistently with better results.
YOUR BEDDING MATTERS
When choosing your next set of sheets, opt for the smoothest and silkiest you can find. The texture of the fabric is important to ensure it is not tugging or pulling on your sensitive facial skin overnight or causing hair tangles.
Silk sheets have been shown to help maintain proper hair and skin hydration as they are not as drying as synthetic fabrics, wool and fleece.
HOW DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH SLEEP IS RIGHT FOR YOU
Keep a sleeping journal and track how rested you feel each morning.
Experiment by going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night until you find that sweet spot!